THE OPPOSITION Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) says it is not surprised at the nearly $100 million committed by the current administration to pay 40 consultants working out of eight of the 16 ministries.
Reacting to a Sunday Gleaner story on the large remuneration package to some government consultants, Opposition spokesman on information Senator Arthur Williams called for the administration to justify the number of persons employed to provide advice.
"I remind you also that the PNP (People's National Party) criticised an 18-man JLP Cabinet, yet they have a 20-man Cabinet," Williams said. "So why should we be surprised?"
According to Williams, the hiring of consultants and advisers should be justified only on the basis of inadequate appropriate skills available to the minister.
"The terms of reference/job description of the consultants/ advisers must be clearly set out and must be measurable and the qualifications of the person to do the job must be demonstrated. Otherwise, we will end up with some jobs for the boys," Williams told The Gleaner in an emailed response.
The Opposition argued that the trend should be toward reducing the number of consultants/advisers employed to government.
Williams recounted that after public outcry some years ago, during the previous PNP administration, there was an attempt to reduce the number of consultants/advisers.
During the last JLP administration, 48 consultants/advisers were recruited, four less than the 52 employed by the previous PNP Government.